Special Issue "Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Hadi Nobari *
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Granada, 18010 Granada, Spain
2. HEME Research Group, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
3. Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan 81746-7344, Iran
4. Sports Scientist, Sepahan Football Club, Isfahan 81887-78473, Iran
Interests: sports performance; growth of youth and maturation; external load monitoring; training load; well-being; soccer training; injury prevention; strength and conditioning; sports nutrition and supplement; quality of life; reliability; validity of devices
* Sports Scientist of Sepahan Football Club
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Prof. Dr. Jorge Pérez-Gómez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Health, Economy, Motricity, and Education (HEME) Research Group, Faculty of Sport Sciences, The University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
Interests: football training; injury prevention; physiology; physical and sports activities as a strategy to promote a healthy society; physical activity interventions; exercise training physical exercise; physical health; assessment of physical capacity; global health; health; quality of life in groups of subjects and active lifestyle; osteoporosis; fall prevention; body composition
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Prof. Dr. Juan Pedro Fuentes García
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Didactic and Behavioral Analysis of Sports (ADICODE) Research Group, Faculty of Sport Sciences, The University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
Interests: tennis training; motor learning; psychophysiological evaluation; sports medicine and exercise; brain activity; cardiovascular physiology; rehabilitation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, which is titled "Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health” .

A complete and regular set of different areas of sports science are required to achieve optimal sports performance. Exercise physiology is one of the most important and practical fields in sport science that provide information for strength and conditioning coaches in sports teams. For this reason, identifying the physical demands of sports must be a priority for professional coaches. Each sport differs in its physical demands, with a wide range of skills at varying levels of intensity. Athletes are primarily involved in kinds of running, kicking, jumping, sprinting, and changing of direction; these physical abilities require maximum strength, maximal oxygen uptake, anaerobic power, and the neuromuscular system. In order for athletes and sports teams to achieve optimal performance in these physical indicators, the coach must be able to do several things for the athletes and their teams, including the following: (i) fitness assessments—step-by-step evaluations of athletes in different training phases in the competition season and pre-season; (ii) conditioning specific for sports—this means a variety of exercises for running at different speeds, acceleration, deceleration, and exercises in simulated field conditions such as small sided game (SSG); (iii) strength training—this section should include a set of resistance exercises, including weight training, dumbbells, barbells, and functional training; (iv) explosive power, speed, and change of direction development—at this stage, the correct techniques of jumping with one and a pair of legs, jumping on different boxes, sled run, band resisted running, and agility ladders drills; (v) and, almost the most important part that should be prioritized by coaches in all training seasons, is to be able to manage the training load, recovery between training sessions and match, injury prevention, and rehabilitation of players through monitoring, which can be of external load to all types of running, metabolic power, and body load, internal load to the rating of perceived exertion or heart rate and, finally, the well-being status of players using various tools such as the Hooper index questionnaire.

Therefore, the aim of this Special Issue is to identify the training strategies to achieve the desired performance in competitions for athletes, individually or as a team and considering different ages and sports, which can (1) be considered and studied as periodization and programming for training in different periods of the season; (2) keep or lead the athlete to the desired performance by managing the training load; (3) monitor the athlete’s wellness status for preventing the development of over-training syndrome and non-functional overreaching statuses as well as to achieve the desired performance and prevent performance distortion; (4) quantify the relationship between fitness assessments with training loads and well-being status; and (5) examine the role of different types of training such as SSG, agility, speed, and resistance training in different age groups in different teams.

We eagerly anticipate your sensational papers!

Dr. Hadi Nobari
Dr. Jorge Pérez-Gómez
Prof. Dr. Juan Pedro Fuentes García
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • athletes
  • elite
  • external load
  • functional training
  • fitness assessments
  • GPS
  • HIIT
  • injury
  • internal load
  • monitoring
  • NFOR
  • soccer
  • sports
  • speed
  • SSG
  • s-RPE
  • prevention
  • performance
  • periodization
  • professional
  • resistance training
  • RPE
  • training load
  • youth
  • well-being
  • workload

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Article
Relationships, Decisions, and Physical Effort in the Marro Traditional Sporting Game: A Multimodal Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10832; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182010832 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 237
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the players’ decisions-making in Marro (a Traditional Sporting Game) through a multimodal approach. Each player’s decision-making assumes specific accelerations and decelerations associated with different effort. The research objectives were: (i) to study the decision-making associated [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the players’ decisions-making in Marro (a Traditional Sporting Game) through a multimodal approach. Each player’s decision-making assumes specific accelerations and decelerations associated with different effort. The research objectives were: (i) to study the decision-making associated with the roles of Hunter and Hare; (ii) to know the physical effort by the roles (Hunters and Hares); (iii) to reveal T-Patterns in the multimodal strategic approach (integrated with decisions and different physical effort) with a direct incidence on the scoring by roles. The study was performed with 22 male and 2 female players aged 18 to 25 (M = 19.4; SD = 1.3). The Marro game was played by two groups for eight minutes. An observational methodology was used, through a type III design. The observational design was nomothetic, one-time, and multidimensional. An ‘ad hoc’ tool was built to ensure the data quality. Univariate analyses were performed using Crosstabs Command, with adjusted residuals (AR), Classification Trees (Chaid model) and T-Pattern Analysis (TPA). Significant differences were found between matches using the scoring (p < 0.001; ES = 0.26), role (p < 0.001; ES = 0.31), or the organic variables of the study, the speed (p < 0.001; ES = 0.73), the metabolic power and the acceleration/deceleration the speed (p = 0.023; ES = 0.43), while the predictive model pointed to the variable role (p < 0.001) as the main factor responsible for the model growth. TPA (p < 0.005) revealed differences attributable to internal logic in the yellow (first match) and orange (second match) teams, while organic variables were more changeable in the violet (first match) and green (second match) teams. This study advances the individualization of the decision-making process. These results may be useful to better understand the internal of functioning of the Marro game 360° since the use of various methodologies and variables (multimodal approach) provided original findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Do Blood Lactate Levels Affect the Kinematic Patterns of Jump Shots in Handball?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10809; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182010809 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 235
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether the dynamic motor stereotype of movement (shooting technique) is violated under conditions of an increased lactate concentration in a player’s blood after a 30–15 intermittent fitness test. The hypotheses was that there would be [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the dynamic motor stereotype of movement (shooting technique) is violated under conditions of an increased lactate concentration in a player’s blood after a 30–15 intermittent fitness test. The hypotheses was that there would be statistically significant differences in ball speed and shooting accuracy in jump shots on the goal before and after the occurrence of fatigue in the player. The sample of respondents consisted of 10 top-level handball players of the highest competition rank in Croatia. The results showed significant differences before and after the fatigue protocol in the run-up speed (F = 5.66; p = 0.02), in the maximum speed of the forearm (F = 5.85; p = 0.02) and the hand (F = 4.01; p = 0.04), in the speed in the shoulder joint (F = 5.39; p = 0.02) and wrist joint (F = 4.06; p = 0.04), and in the ball shooting speed (F = 5.42; p = 0.02). The accuracy of the shot was, on average, lower (36.20 vs. 33.17 cm) but not significantly so. High blood lactate levels affect changes in certain kinematic parameters during the performance of a jump shot in handball. Consequently, this reduces the speed of the shot, which can affect situational performance as one of the two significant parameters of scoring success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Sprint Variables Are Associated with the Odds Ratios of Non-Contact Injuries in Professional Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10417; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910417 - 03 Oct 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Significant evidence has emerged that a high volume of sprinting during training is associated with an increased risk of non-contact injuries in professional soccer players. Training load has been reported as a modifiable risk factor for successive injury in soccer. Sprint workload measures [...] Read more.
Significant evidence has emerged that a high volume of sprinting during training is associated with an increased risk of non-contact injuries in professional soccer players. Training load has been reported as a modifiable risk factor for successive injury in soccer. Sprint workload measures and non-contact injuries were recorded weekly in twenty-one professional soccer players over a one season period. Odds ratio (OR) and relative risk (RR) were calculated based on the weeks of high and low load of total distance (TD), high-speed distance (HSD), sprint distance (SPD). and repeated sprints (RS). The Poisson distribution estimated the interval time between the last injury and the new injury. The weeks with high-load levels increased the risk of non-contact injury associated with TD (OR: 4.1; RR: 2.4), HSD (OR: 4.6; RR: 2.6), SPD (OR: 6.9; RR: 3.7), and RS (OR: 4.3; RR: 2.7). The time between injuries was significantly longer in weeks of low-load in TD (rate ratio time (RRT) 1.5 vs. 4.2), HSD (RRT: 1.6 vs. 4.6), and SPD (RRT: 1.7 vs. 7.7) compared to weeks of high-load. The findings highlight an increased risk of non-contact injuries during high weekly sprint workloads. Possibly, TD, HSD, and SPD measured via a wearable inertial measurement unit could be modeled to track training and to reduce non-contact injuries. Finally, the interval time between the last injury and the new injury at the high-load is shorter than the low-load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
Article
Relationship between Sprint Capacity and Acceleration of Wrists in Wheelchair Basketball Players: Design and Reliability of a New Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10380; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910380 - 02 Oct 2021
Viewed by 443
Abstract
The application of new technologies in wheelchair basketball (WB) is important for the advancement and improvement of athletic performance. The purposes of this study are twofold: (a) to develop a methodological design in order to assess WB players’ performance, using wireless inertial measurement [...] Read more.
The application of new technologies in wheelchair basketball (WB) is important for the advancement and improvement of athletic performance. The purposes of this study are twofold: (a) to develop a methodological design in order to assess WB players’ performance, using wireless inertial measurement units (WIMU®) and a laser system (BioLaserSport® with computer vision), in a 20 m sprint test on court and (b) to assess bilateral symmetry as a performance indicator and for injury prevention purposes, the study of which in previous research is unknown. For both aims, the relation of the acceleration of the players’ wrists to the speed achieved by the player in the wheelchair was explored. Ten elite WB players participated in an on-court 20 m sprint test during real training. BioLaserSport® with computer vision was used to assess the average velocity (Va) and maximum velocity (Vmax) of the WB players, and two WIMU® were used for the total acceleration (AcelT) of the players’ wrists. A very high correlation was obtained in the assessment of the Va (0.97) and AcelT of both wrists (0.90 and 0.85). There was a significant relationship between the average AcelT of the dominant wrist and the Va on-court sprint velocity (p < 0.05). Two players did not show good wrist symmetry. In conclusion, a new methodological protocol was developed, making it possible to assess the bilateral symmetries in elite WB players in on-court real training and the relation between the acceleration of players’ wrists and players’ wheelchair speed. Coaches can use this protocol to assess performance or for injury prevention, as it shows very good reliability, with high ICC values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Outpatient Assessment of Mechanical Load, Heat Strain and Dehydration as Causes of Transitional Acute Kidney Injury in Endurance Trail Runners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10217; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910217 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to globally assess heat strain, dehydration, and mechanical load as acute kidney injury (AKI) indicators in amateur endurance trail athletes during a 35.3 km run. Methods: Thirty amateur experienced trail runners completed an endurance trail run (total positive ascend [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to globally assess heat strain, dehydration, and mechanical load as acute kidney injury (AKI) indicators in amateur endurance trail athletes during a 35.3 km run. Methods: Thirty amateur experienced trail runners completed an endurance trail run (total positive ascend 1815 m). The following assessments were performed at four measurement time points (pre-, during, immediately post [-post0h], and after 24 h of the finish of the run [-post24h]): serum test (creatinine, blood ureic nitrogen, albumin, creatine kinase, blood ureic nitrogen: creatinine ratio, creatinine clearance, and glomerular filtration rate), mechanical load (impacts and Player Load), heat strain and dehydration (hematocrit, urine solids, body weight and urine specific gravity), pain and exertion perception (rate of perceived exertion, lumbar and bipodal, and one-leg squat pain), and urinalysis (pH, protein, glucose, erythrocytes, and urine specific gravity). Results: There were pre vs. post0h changes in all serum biomarkers (F = 5.4–34.45, p < 0.01). The change in these biomarkers correlated with an increase in mechanical load indicators (r = 0.47–59, p < 0.05). A total of 40% and 23.4% of participants presented proteinuria and hematuria, respectively. Pain and perceived exertion increased significantly due to effort made during the endurance trail running (F = 4.2–176.4, p < 0.01). Conclusions: Endurance trail running may lead to an increase in blood and urine indicators of transitional AKI. The difference in blood and urine markers was significantly related to the mechanical load during running, suggesting potential kidney overload and cumulative mechanical load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Effect of Compensatory Mechanisms on Postural Disturbances and Musculoskeletal Pain in Elite Sitting Volleyball Players: Preparation of a Compensatory Intervention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910105 - 26 Sep 2021
Viewed by 575
Abstract
The aim of the study was to identify the effect of compensatory mechanisms on the prevalence of sagittal spinal curvature deformity and musculoskeletal pain and to assess the interrelationships between those components in sitting volleyball players. Twenty-one elite Polish sitting volleyball players (age [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to identify the effect of compensatory mechanisms on the prevalence of sagittal spinal curvature deformity and musculoskeletal pain and to assess the interrelationships between those components in sitting volleyball players. Twenty-one elite Polish sitting volleyball players (age = 34.1 ± 7.5, BM = 77.9 ± 16.0) participated in the study in which direct participatory systematic observation and a non-invasive method were used. Both objective (anthropometric, spinal curvature–Idiag M360) and subjective (musculoskeletal ailments–NMQ = 7) measurements were performed. The Statistica 13.3 software package was used for statistical analyses. The neck, lower back (43%), and upper back (38%) were the most frequently reported painful areas. Of all participants, 76% reported sagittal spinal deformities. In the habitual position, the results indicated moderate correlations (r = 0.5, p < 0.05) between the lumbar concavity of the back and low back pain (LBP) and between thoracic convexity and LBP (r = 0.4, p < 0.05). Internal and external compensation have an effect on the prevalence of spinal curvature deformities in the sagittal plane, with thoracic hyperkyphosis (38%) and lumbar hyperlordosis (33%) being the most common. More severe lower and upper back pain were correlated with greater angles of thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis in the habitual position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Communication
Effects of Maximal Effort Running on Special Agents’ Loaded and Unloaded Drop Jump Performance and Mechanics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910090 - 25 Sep 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
The purpose was to investigate the effect of load and fatigue on landing forces and mechanics. Thirteen Department of State special agents first completed drop jump testing, a maximal treadmill test, and another round of drop jump testing. During drop jump testing, agents [...] Read more.
The purpose was to investigate the effect of load and fatigue on landing forces and mechanics. Thirteen Department of State special agents first completed drop jump testing, a maximal treadmill test, and another round of drop jump testing. During drop jump testing, agents performed 3 maximal effort drop jumps from 30 cm with body mass only (unloaded) or a 15 kg weight-vest (loaded). A force plate was used to collect force–time data, while two laptops were placed 3 m from the force plate from frontal and sagittal planes. Two-way analyses of variance were used to analyze the effect of load and fatigue on landing forces and Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) with alpha of p < 0.05. Dropping from 30 cm with 15 kg resulted in greater landing impulse, which was driven by increases in contact time. The loaded condition also resulted in lower jump height and reactive strength indexes. After the maximal graded treadmill test there were no further changes in drop jump ground reaction forces or performance. However, relative aerobic capacity was related to impulse changes following the treadmill test in unloaded (R2 = 0.41; p = 0.018) and loaded conditions (R2 = 0.32; p = 0.044). External loads of 15 kg increased impulse and contact time and resultantly decreased drop jump height and reactive strength indexes. It is encouraged that training protocols be aimed to concomitantly improve aerobic capacity and lower body power. Plyometric training with progressive overloading using external loads may be helpful, but further research is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
The Modifications of Haemoglobin, Erythropoietin Values and Running Performance While Training at Mountain vs. Hilltop vs. Seaside
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9486; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18189486 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Altitude training increases haemoglobin, erythropoietin values among athletes, but may have negative physiological consequences. An alternative, although less explored, that has the potential to positively influence performance while avoiding some of the negative physiological consequences of hypoxia is sand training. Ten endurance-trained athletes [...] Read more.
Altitude training increases haemoglobin, erythropoietin values among athletes, but may have negative physiological consequences. An alternative, although less explored, that has the potential to positively influence performance while avoiding some of the negative physiological consequences of hypoxia is sand training. Ten endurance-trained athletes (age: 20.8 ± 1.4, body mass: 57.7 ± 8.2 kg, stature: 176 ± 6 cm; 5000 m 14:55.00 ± 0:30 min) performed three 21-day training camps at different locations: at a high altitude (HIGH), at the sea-level (CTRL), at the sea-level on the sand (SAND). Differences in erythropoietin (EPO) and haemoglobin (Hb) concentration, body weight, VO2max and maximal aerobic velocity (VMA) before and after each training cycle were compared. Data analysis has indicated that training during HIGH elicited a greater increase in VO2max (2.4 ± 0.2%; p = 0.005 and 1.0 ± 0.2%; p < 0.001) and VMA (2.4 ± 0.2%, p < 0.001 and 1.2 ± 0.2%; p = 0.001) compared with CTRL and SAND. While increases in VO2max and VMA following SAND were greater (1.3 ± 0.1%; p < 0.001 and 1.2 ± 0.1%; p < 0.001) than those observed after CTRL. Moreover, EPO increased to a greater extent following HIGH (25.3 ± 2.7%) compared with SAND (11.7 ± 1.6%, p = 0.008) and CTRL (0.1 ± 0.3%, p < 0.001) with a greater increase (p < 0.01) following SAND compared with CTRL. Furthermore, HIGH and SAND elicited a greater increase (4.9 ± 0.9%; p = 0.001 and 3.3 ± 1.1%; p = 0.035) in Hb compared with CTRL. There was no difference in Hb changes observed between HIGH and SAND (p = 1.0). Finally, athletes lost 2.1 ± 0.4% (p = 0.001) more weight following HIGH vs. CTRL, while there were no differences in weight changes between HIGH vs. SAND (p = 0.742) and SAND vs. CTRL (p = 0.719). High-altitude training and sea-level training on sand resulted in significant improvements in EPO, Hb, VMA, and VO2max that exceeded changes in such parameters following traditional sea-level training. While high-altitude training elicited greater relative increases in EPO, VMA, and VO2max, sand training resulted in comparable increases in Hb and may prevent hypoxia-induced weight loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Impact of the Result of Soccer Matches on the Heart Rate Variability of Women Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9414; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18179414 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 604
Abstract
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of a match lost and a match won on post-competitive heart rate variability (HRV) in semi-professional female soccer athletes. A total of 13 players, with a mean age of 23.75 (5.32), from the Cáceres Women [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of a match lost and a match won on post-competitive heart rate variability (HRV) in semi-professional female soccer athletes. A total of 13 players, with a mean age of 23.75 (5.32), from the Cáceres Women Football Club of the Spanish Second National Division participated in our study. They were evaluated in two microcycles which correspond to a match lost and a match won. For each microcycle, baseline and post-competitive measures were collected. Results indicate that HRV was significantly reduced before a match lost and won. Significant differences in HRV variables were observed when compared the lost match, and the match won. Results highlight the importance and usefulness of analyzing the HRV as an indicator of post-competitive fatigue in semiprofessional soccer players. Therefore, a competition’s results could be considered a relevant variable to consider when programming training load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Vision in Futsal Players: Coordination and Reaction Time
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9069; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18179069 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 337
Abstract
Background: Coordination and reaction time are relevant aspects of a sport’s competitive performance within teams. The aim of this study was to explore if a group of futsal players, in a laboratory context, would present better results from actions where vision is prevalent [...] Read more.
Background: Coordination and reaction time are relevant aspects of a sport’s competitive performance within teams. The aim of this study was to explore if a group of futsal players, in a laboratory context, would present better results from actions where vision is prevalent compared to a control group without contact with futsal or any other sport. Methods: The digital system of the COI- SV software was used; six tests were selected, related to coordination (“Eye/hand coordination”; “Coordination and identification”) and reaction time (“Anticipation Time”; “Peripheral response”; “reaction time”; “Visual memory”). Results: Of all the tests performed, only in the anticipation time test did the futsal players obtain better results than the control group. The average time of the failures was lower in relation to the control group. In the others, no differences were found between the two groups. Conclusions: The futsal players did not perform better than the control group in most of the tests carried out, except in the “anticipation time”. Therefore, visual training maybe necessary to improve visual skills and sports performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Effect of Virtual Reality Exercises on the Cognitive Status and Dual Motor Task Performance of the Aging Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8005; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18158005 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Aging is a global phenomenon affecting numerous developed and developing countries. During this process, the functional state of the body, especially the cognitive state, declines. This research investigated the impact of virtual reality exercises on the cognitive status and dual-task performance in the [...] Read more.
Aging is a global phenomenon affecting numerous developed and developing countries. During this process, the functional state of the body, especially the cognitive state, declines. This research investigated the impact of virtual reality exercises on the cognitive status and dual-task performance in the elderly of Tabriz city, Iran. Forty men with a mean age of 71.5 were selected and assigned to either the experimental (n = 20) or control groups (n = 20). Both groups completed the Mini-Mental State Examination for cognitive status. The pre-test was performed through the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) along with a countdown of numbers. Then, the experimental group practiced virtual driving for six weeks, while the control group received no treatment. After the treatment, both groups completed the post-test. At each stage, the test was performed as a dual motor task as well. Data were analyzed using the paired t-test and the independent sample t-test to show the intra-group and inter-group differences, respectively. The results showed a significant improvement in the cognitive status and dual-task performance of the elderly men after the six-week training period, which was also significant compared to the control group. Virtual reality driving can be used to improve the cognitive status and dual task performance of elderly men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
Article
Effect of Physical Guidance on Learning a Tracking Task in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137136 - 03 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of physical guidance (PG) frequency on learning a tracking task in children with hemiplegic spastic cerebral palsy (CP). For this purpose, 25 children, aged 7–15 years with CP affecting the left side of [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of physical guidance (PG) frequency on learning a tracking task in children with hemiplegic spastic cerebral palsy (CP). For this purpose, 25 children, aged 7–15 years with CP affecting the left side of the body, who were classified in levels II–III of Manual Abilities Classification System (MACS) and levels III–IV of Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), were recruited from 10 clinical centers. A pre-test including two blocks of 12 trials of the tracking task without any PG was performed by all participants, after that they were assigned into five homogenous groups (with 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0% of PG) through blocked randomization according to their age. All participants involved in an intervention consisted of eight sessions (four blocks of 12 trials in each session) practicing a tracking task. The 0% PG group received no PG, the 25% PG group received PG for three trials, the 50% PG group received PG for six trials, the 75% PG group received PG for nine trials, and the 100% PG group received PG for all twelve trials. PG consisted of placing the experimenter’s hand around the child’s less-involved hand guiding to stay on the track and complete the task. Learning was inferred by acquisition and delayed retention tests. The results showed that the higher frequency of PG led to more accurate performance during practice phase. However, the group that received 75% PG had significantly better performance compared to the other groups in the retention phase. It is concluded that optimum level of PG, about 75% of trials, can be helpful for learning a tracking task in children with spastic hemiplegic CP, supporting the challenge point framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Article
Early Left Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction, Reduced Baroreflex Sensitivity, and Cardiac Autonomic Imbalance in Anabolic–Androgenic Steroid Users
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6974; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18136974 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 776
Abstract
The effects of androgen anabolic steroids (AAS) use on athletes’ cardiac autonomic activity in terms of baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and heart rate variability (HRV) have not yet been adequately studied. Furthermore, there is no information to describe the possible relationship between the structural [...] Read more.
The effects of androgen anabolic steroids (AAS) use on athletes’ cardiac autonomic activity in terms of baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and heart rate variability (HRV) have not yet been adequately studied. Furthermore, there is no information to describe the possible relationship between the structural and functional cardiac remodeling and the cardiac autonomic nervous system changes caused by AAS abuse. Thus, we aimed to study the effects of long-term AAS abuse on cardiac autonomic efficacy and cardiac adaptations in strength-trained athletes. In total, 80 strength-trained athletes (weightlifters and bodybuilders) participated in the study. Notably, 40 of them using AAS according to their state formed group A, 40 nonuser strength-trained athletes comprised group B, and 40 healthy nonathletes (group C) were used as controls. All subjects underwent a head-up tilt test using the 30 min protocol to evaluate the baroreflex sensitivity and short HRV modulation. Furthermore, all athletes undertook standard echocardiography, a cardiac tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) study, and a maximal spiroergometric test on a treadmill to estimate their maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max). The tilt test results showed that group A presented a significantly lower BRS and baroreflex effectiveness index than group B by 13.8% and 10.7%, respectively (p < 0.05). Regarding short-term HRV analysis, a significant increase was observed in sympathetic activity in AAS users. Moreover, athletes of group A showed increased left ventricular (LV) mass index (LVMI) by 8.9% (p < 0.05), compared to group B. However, no difference was found in LV ejection fraction between the groups. TDI measurements indicated that AAS users had decreased septal and lateral peak E’ by 38.0% (p < 0.05) and 32.1% (p < 0.05), respectively, and increased E/E’ by 32.0% (p < 0.05), compared to group B. This LV diastolic function alteration was correlated with the year of AAS abuse. A significant correlation was established between BRS depression and LV diastolic impairment in AAS users. Cardiopulmonary test results showed that AAS users had significantly higher time to exhaustion by 11.0 % (p < 0.05) and VO2max by 15.1% (p < 0.05), compared to controls. A significant correlation was found between VO2max and LVMI in AAS users. The results of the present study indicated that long-term AAS use in strength-trained athletes led to altered cardiovascular autonomic modulations, which were associated with indices of early LV diastolic dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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Brief Report
Potential Improvement in Rehabilitation Quality of 2019 Novel Coronavirus by Isometric Training System; Is There “Muscle-Lung Cross-Talk”?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18126304 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 965
Abstract
The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis is now present in more than 200 countries. It started in December 2019 and has, so far, led to more than 149, 470,968 cases, 3,152,121 deaths, and 127,133,013 survivors recovered by 28 April 2021. COVID-19 has [...] Read more.
The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis is now present in more than 200 countries. It started in December 2019 and has, so far, led to more than 149, 470,968 cases, 3,152,121 deaths, and 127,133,013 survivors recovered by 28 April 2021. COVID-19 has a high morbidity, and mortality of 2%, on average, whereas most people are treated after a period of time. Some people who recover from COVID-19 are left with 20 to 30% decreased lung function. In this context, exercise focused on skeletal muscle with minimal lung involvement could potentially play an important role. Regular exercise protects against diseases associated with chronic low-grade systemic inflammation. This long-term effect of exercise may be ascribed to the anti-inflammatory response elicited by an acute bout of exercise, which is partly mediated by muscle-derived myokines. The isometric training system seems to have this feature, because this system is involved with the skeletal muscle as the target tissue. However, no studies have examined the effect of exercise on the treatment and recovery of COVID-19, and, more importantly, “muscle–lung cross-talk” as a mechanism for COVID-19 treatment. It is suggested that this theoretical construct be examined by researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training for Optimal Sports Performance and Health)
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